Vermillion Rise has had a distinguished history initially serving as a US defense facility during World War Two and now has been transformed to a 7,000 acre shovel ready industrial park offering outstanding water, natural gas, electric, transportation and workforce resources in West Central Indiana.
The Army developed the Wabash River Ordinance Works in 1941. At that time, the Depot was 22,000 acres and extended from the Wabash River to the Illinois state line. Construction of the Royal Demolitions Explosive (RDX) plant followed with production starting in 1942.
From 1943 – 44, additional production facilities were constructed for heavy water manufacturing. The plant was placed in standby status in 1946 and reactivated in 1952 until operations ended in 1957. As many as 10,000 workers were involved with the construction of the plant. A seven million gallon reservoir remains in the Park to serve the water requirements of new industries.
The plant was closed after the end of World War II but was reactivated in 1952 to support the Korean War.
A chemical plant was constructed from 1958-61 to produce chemical agent VX and employed nearly 2,000 during its production. Production ceased in 1968 and the remaining stockpile was neutralized and eliminated by 2008.
The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommended the Newport Chemical Depot for closure by 2011. In 2012 the US Army completed the environmental remediation in coordination with US EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and issues a Finding of Suitability To Transfer (FOST).
The Vermillion County Redevelopment Authority was formed to manage the acquisition and transformation of the Depot to the Vermillion Rise Mega Park. A executive director and staff was hired to manage the Park and realignment of this 7,000 acre facility to a new shovel ready industrial Park.
See link to history of the US Army Newport Chemical Depot at https://www.dropbox.com/s/oann5b6ryk7epcl/Newport_Tour_Book_2009-02_HISTORY.pdf?dl=0
See link to archive created in partnership with Indiana State University at http://visions.indstate.edu/specialcollections/ncdh.html